C'mon Digimon, penned by Hiroshi Izawa and released in mid-1997 for Akamaru Jump shortly before the debut of its first virtual pet, was a sort of "beta version" of Digimon V-Tamer 01, eventually released as a bonus chapter in its second volume.
Shinichiro Josaki is the privileged son of the owner of Josaki Electronis. His hobby is to challenge people to Digimon V-Pet battles, defeats them ruthlessly with his Deathmon, and rub his victory in by crushing the opponent's V-Pets under his foot. Meanwhile, after a friendly V-Pet battle with some friends, Makoto Abe encounters Kentaro Kamon, well-known for his apparent disdain of animals, being the only person without a V-Pet and for getting into a fight with some high schoolers. Makoto discovers he picked up a V-Pet on the street, though Kentaro insists that he hates the things and tries to press it onto Makoto. Makoto uses a 3D virtual projection machine constructed by his brother to bring to life the V-Pet's contents, a so-called defective "Damemon" by the name of Bun, and Kentaro reluctantly adopts it.
Not happy in being strong-armed into owning Bun, Kentaro intends to hand him back to Makoto. However, Makato has been kidnapped by Shinichiro, who defeats his Greymon and, after revealing he extensively researches the background and strength of his V-Pet opponents, destroys the V-Pet. Furious, Kentaro and Bun swear to defeat him in ten days' time.
Contains examples of:
- All Animals Are Dogs: Bun has the personality of a puppy.
- Art Evolution / Off-Model: At the time of the manga's writing, most designs for Digimon weren't well-defined or known. As such, the mangaka just interpreted them his way based on the V-Pets, so most Digimon featured don't look all that much like their appearances in other material, even that written just a year later. This is given a nod in the Cold Open of the first "V-Tamer", where Taichi comments that living breathing monsters look different than the holographic projections.
- Badass Adorable: Bun is cute, small and not very powerful, but is more capable than all but Kamon initially realize.
- Breath Weapon: Bun's basic weapon.
- Calling Your Attacks: One of the few adaptations where Digimon don't do this. Instead, their owner orders the attacks by calling them for the Digimon.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Only Makoto's Digimon and Bun are referred to as something other than their species name.
- Expy: This manga is confirmed to have later influenced Digimon V-Tamer 01, and by extension everything else Digimon ever. Taichi Yagami (both of him) was directly inspired by Kentaro, Shinichiro resembles Neo Saiba (and by extension Ryouma Mogami by way of recursive expies), and Makoto resembles Kenta Kitagawa (and also shares a name with a different Tamers character). Additionally, this manga's interpretation of Greymon's appearance was adapted into the Veedramon species.
- Foreshadowing: This manga is notable for previewing much of what the franchise is known for (a large focus on the connection between kids and their mon's, kid with traumatizing past whose partner overcomes adversity when they overcome their resulting personal issues, developed storytelling capabilities, etc.) in just a few pages.
- Glitch Entity: Bun, possibly.
- God: Makoto suggests that God might be trying to help Kentaro through whatever his issue is. Kentaro doesn't think such a thing is impossible but dismisses it on the lack of reliable signs.
- Hidden Heart of Gold: Kentaro pretends to not like animals or Mons because his pet dog died in a fire while rescuing him.
- Jerkass: Shinichiro's favorite pastime is curbstomping the Digimon of other kids and then smashing the V-Pets to pieces, quickly cementing him as this. If the fact that he actually does research on his targets' personal lives just to find the best ways to torment them (He wants to have Meramon kill Bun to rub in the fact that Kentaro's pet dog died in a fire when he was little) is anything to go by, he might even be classified as something worse.
- Karma Houdini: Sure, his Deathmon gets destroyed, but Shinichiro is not shown getting otherwise punished for essentially inflicting psychological torture on other kids just for kicks. And what's keeping him from creating another Deathmon?
- Kick the Dog: Shinichiro's hobby.
- Legacy Character: When a Digimon dies, the Tamer is given a new egg to start over with, so Makoto decided to name his newest monsters after old ones that passed on.
- Licked by the Dog: Bun does this to Kentaro to demonstrate the latter isn't as bad as he seems.
- Morphic Resonance: Deathmon's face is present to some degree in all of its forms.
- Mythology Gag: If you ever wondered why it's so common to see The Hero and The Lancer partnered to a lizard and a canine in every other Digimon adaptation ever, you'll get your answer here.
- One Steve Limit: Greymon's change in appearance can be chalked up to Art Evolution; others, not so much. Another monster called Deathmon shows up in V-Tamer 01, another DeathMeramon debuts in Digimon Adventure, and another Damemon in Digimon Fusion, all of which are clearly different monster species entirely. Fans usually refer to the Digimon from this manga by their names from the manga's Italian translation to avoid confusion (so Bun is often called Bunomon), and English dub material renamed the V-Tamer 01 Deathmon to Ghoulmon and the Adventure DeathMeramon to SkullMeramon. On the other hand, none of the aforementioned Digimon from this manga ever showed up in anything else, so it's not as much of an issue as it could've been.
- Pokémon Speak: The only Digimon canon where this is the norm, at least as far as we can tell given Bun is the only Digimon who speaks. Possibly justified, as Bun is just a projection and isn't a living creature.
- Sequel Escalation: MetalGreymon was presented as the ultimate Digimon in this manga; at the time it was, being one of only three Perfect-level Digimon. Even a little over a year later there were not only dozens of Perfect-level Digimon and thus dozens of comparable strength to MetalGreymon, but an entire higher level had been introduced in the form of the Ultimatenote level. These days? We're talking hundreds upon hundreds of Digimon as powerful or stronger than MetalGreymon, and occasionally a level beyond Ultimate crops up.
- Serious Business: Shinichiro puts a Kaibaesque disturbing level of serious business into his V-Pet battles; he even specifically researches all of his targets!
- Voluntary Shape Shifting: Deathmon, changes shape when Shinichiro commands it at least.